More than half a million children, including the prime minister’s daughter Nancy, will find out today whether they have got into the secondary school of their choice.
Parents have been facing, in some cases, an agonising wait after visiting schools on open days and filling out the application forms. Parents in England will begin to receive email notifications today, and letters later in the week, informing them which school their child will go to in September.
There is so much competition nowadays, to get into your preferred secondary school. Each year the ground rules seem to change, so you can never be entirely sure which school is deemed your nearest school until all the applications have been evaluated.
The days when children simply went to their closest local school are over. Now parents pore over Ofsted results and can compare academies, free schools, religious schools and those under local authority control before making a decision. Faced with this education lottery, parents employ extreme techniques, such as moving house, to try and get their children into schools rated “outstanding” by Ofsted.
What are your views? Are parents given too much choice? Or is stating a preference not really choosing? Is it effective to get schools to improve and compete? Or should children simply attend their nearest school?